Slideshow image

Recently, I sat at a table with some friends and enjoyed catching up and a little humor together. But as I reflected on that time afterward I recognized something that was absent from our conversation: any kind of meaningful, spiritual discussion. This was not a new revelation for me, but something that I've come to notice time and again. And sadly, I'm part of the problem! It's like I freeze up sometimes and can't think of how to turn the conversation by asking a good question that would result in a sustainable discourse on eternal matters. It's not that I don't enjoy my friends and our conversations. But because we're all Christians, I just feel like we're leaving so much on the table when we talk. We could be experiencing more.

A while back I was contemplating this situation and had a lightbulb moment. I considered the fact that it can be really difficult to engage in spiritual conversations, "gospel conversations", with our non-Christian friends, neighbors, and family members. And then I had the epiphany: why would I expect anything different?!? If Christians are not strong at initiating and sustaining spiritually stimulating discussions with one another when everyone involved has the Holy Spirit indwelling them and professes to love the Lord, why should we think that we would be any more proficient at doing this with those who have hearts of stone and are at enmity with God?

My suggestion isn't that we give up on trying to talk to unbelievers about the things of the Lord. Rather, I think we should grow in the area of having spiritual conversations with those we know who also know him.

The authors of the book "Total Church" touch on this very issue and write,

We need Christian communities who saturate ordinary life with the gospel. The communities to which we introduce people must be communities in which “Godtalk" is normal. This means talking about what we are reading in the Bible, praying together whenever we share needs, delighting together in the gospel, and sharing our spiritual struggles…


Making "Godtalk" normal. That's what I'm advocating for. And rather than just being a pietistic, overly-spiritual ambition, this kind of thing seems right in line with what the Apostle Paul commands in Ephesians 4:29 when he writes,


Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.


We may not be entrenched in corrupting talk. But can we honestly say that our talk is building others up, as fits the occasion, and giving grace to those who hear?


So, here' me going on record saying I want to grow in "Godtalk." I want to grow in this area because I want to give grace to those I'm talking to. I want to grow in this area because I want to get more—more grace—out of the conversations that I'm participating in with Christian brothers and sisters. And I want to grow in "Godtalk" because I desperately want to cross the pain threshold more often in my conversations with unbelievers leading to more "Gospel conversations"—more people hearing about Jesus and, Lord-willing, more people making the decision to follow Christ. I want to see it and I want to be a part of it.


Will you join me in this endeavor?